Just a sleepy mid-week game, right?
No such thing exists in the Adirondack Thunder’s world, as the Thunder, second in the North Division, host division-leading Manchester on Wednesday.
Whatever New Year resolutions the Thunder made will be tested this week. This contest is the second of four this week, with another four-game stint happening next week.
Thunder coach Brad Tapper said at the beginning of the season that one of his goals was to win the small-area battles, and following Adirondack’s 3-0 win over Reading on Sunday, he felt like that was happening.
“I believe we’re getting faster and faster on our exits from our D-zone, and that’s leading to some offense,” Tapper said. “It’s leading to more sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Also, our neutral zone is coming along. From neutral zone to defensive exits, I think, is really coming together.”
The Thunder have climbed into second place in the division despite a slew of transactions, making their lineup unpredictable at best.
That continued Monday and Tuesday, as the New Jersey Devils reassigned goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood from the AHL’s Binghamton Devils to the Thunder. Also, the Binghamton Devils signed forward Terrence Wallin to a professional tryout contract.
Blackwood, 21, has appeared in 55 AHL games, including 19 this season with Binghamton, where he has a 4-10 record. Wallin, 25, has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 30 games with the Thunder this season.
Blackwood’s arrival gives the Thunder three goalies, as he joins Drew Fielding and Chris Nell.